October 15, 2007

Poetry: Jacket

Hello again, my readers,

I have been neglecting you and this page. Please forgive me, for I had cruel reading and planning to do. I am still working on the projects I described earlier. The epic poetry is coming along well, and I'll have something complete to post in a while. The play is moving slower than expected but should materialise at some point. Otherwise, great.

I had some trouble coming up with part 2 of this week's assignment, the poetry set out in boxes like a comic strip. I have a lack of inspiration for this form, so I adapted a poem I had created over the last few days and wrote it in this form. I think it works, but it isn't fantastic.


Based on real events, folks. Hope you enjoy.


October 12, 2007

Poetry: Wealth

I wrote this for Intro to Creative Writing. The criteria was, to my understanding, to take apart a word and make a poem about it (examples given included the interaction of the letters in form of a narrative or the use of the word as a mnemonic for something else). I went a bit crazy with this one.

Inspirations: though it turned out that way unconsciously, I would say there's a Tim Burton-esque feel to this one. Mr Jimmy Kent is also an inspiration: his 27 stanza poem of complex structure from last week roused a desire to match the challenge (although I'm not sure I matched the poem in the magnitude or complexity). If anyone needs a friendly creative rival, Jimmy is up at the top and I'm pleased to work in the same class as him.

Wealth, from its conception to realisation, was always a quest poem for me. I wanted to contrast the light poetry of before with something darker. However, realism has yet to make an appearance in my blog (note talking snakes and death gods). I wanted to rhyme again this time: although it is a bad habit, not every poem can be freeform prose. I feel the rhyme gives a kick or shove to the poem. Also, I chose the rhythm that seemed most natural to me. It feels like a folk-tale kind of structure to lay under the work, and I like the effect.

Enjoy the work. And for those who are curious about the title, consider why Hades is also called 'Pluton'.


The poet sought to deconstruct

The construct that is DEATH,

Which men, for years

(So it appears)

Struggle with each breath.

The poet sought the means to start,

Beginning with the end,

And so he strove

To that fell grove

Where serpent called us ‘friend’.

A THlivering and THlimy knave

Friend THerpent waTH to be.

The poet found

The wyrm waTH wound

Around the fatal tree.

‘Hail, thief,’ said our poet then,

‘Progenitor, oh why?

Why did you seek

To make the meek

And humble men to die?’

‘Oh, poet,’ said he in forkèd tongue,

‘I’ll say to you, my second.

Beyond the grasp

And angel’s clasp

Was death to you pre-reckoned.’

‘When I had hands and limbs to spare

On work and idle game,

The tree was made

And there displayed

By God before I came.’

‘Who did make the bough bear fruit,

That fruitless fate would store?

Who engendered

That which ended

All men in that core?’

And in this witty, pretty talk,

The serpent smirked and smiled.

The poet squirmed:

‘This evil wyrm’d

Have me most beguiled!’

‘Fine, wyrm, that you did not create

Hard death, I’ll not deny.

But with a rhyme,

You’ll not hide crime.

You poisoned us all. Why?’

Said serpent, ‘I shan’t lie to you,

I did it for a lark!

Why should men savour

All of God’s favour,

With all born from his spark?’

‘We share Prometheus’s flame,

And the kick galvanic

That’s beyond the ken

Of mortal men

And infernal mechanic.’

‘Yet God gave you pastoral joy

That man would never strive,

But us “animals”

Were peripherals

That fought to stay alive.’

‘We had love – a love of sorts –

Like you, and we had ire,

And in our toil

Upon the soil

We, alone, perspire.’

‘If you could feel the hate consume,

The burning, boiling wrath,

Then you, my friend,

Would God contend

Upon the curling path.’

‘But mine is not the crime, you see,

No serpent made “contrite”.

I merely offered

Into man’s coffer

Fruit, but mankind had to bite!’

‘I’ve told my tale, enough, I say!

I’m punished but I have a voice.

To crawl before men?!

I’d do it again,

To see men fall. You had a choice.’

The answer wrecked the poet’s skull

And hands in hair became a rake.

Solution bereft,

He turned and left

The most subtle brother snake.

And so the poet searched the world

For the D, the A and E.

He walked for days

`Neath the sun’s rays

Till the twins he came to see.

Their skin was pale as diamond dust,

Their clothes a tapestry,

Their voices soft,

Their swords aloft,

Phantom shinigami!

And in their eyes, a greyness,

That unfaceable cold.

A hissing churl,

A virgin girl

Just four centuries old.

The poet asked if DEATH could die,

Or the dead gain second birth.

(EE-Ay) said he,

(EE-Ah-DA) she,

And the churl cried out in mirth.

‘There are no routes for runaways,

Nor bargains to be made,

No half or whole,

Just soul for soul,

And we are always paid.’

Inflated with all pompous joy,

Was the sanguine psychopomp.

For his despair,

The poet would swear

He’d landed in a swamp.

And yet he could not now lose hope,

So he made one request:

Of the maid and the squire

He asked for their sire

And the nature of his address.

Then, the virgin maid did speak,

‘Our father, he is no more.

He unburdened himself

Of his scythe on a shelf,

And walks on a distant shore.’

‘And if he lived? No answer would

Come shield you from the dead.

You must, in turn,

New humbleness learn

And live true life instead.’

The poet thanked them for their time,

Yet heeded not advice.

He searched for D

Most steadfastly:

The greatest charm came thrice.

He worked for years and decades past,

And still no cure was reared.

The stanzas cried,

And they denied

That lifelessness appeared.

Although we hoped he’d find the cure,

We never thought he would.

We’re not surprised:

We realised

That we’d all D-



It's a cheery one, that.

Signing off.

October 10, 2007

Poetry: I shall not say it

Hi, back again.

Here's something I wrote a while back. Inspired by a poem by Auden (I forget the name, but it contained the immortal lines 'Time will say nothing except I told you so'). I like this one, because it has an illusion of delicacy around it. As always, feedback appreciated.

Enjoy liberally.

 I Shall Not Say It:

I shall not say it

In a passed around note

That seems a lie handwritten

Or in a text that pays by the word

And so cheapens the way

In which I feel.

Let me say it

In eyes that dart

Around your features

And rest on your eyes –

Until you turn my way.

I shall not say it

In any bold declaration

Like those who have done so

Before, and actors

On screens professing

Heartfelt fake fantasies

Of adoration.

Let me say it

In the holding of your hand

In mine, gently squeezing,

Firm, yet yielding

To your wants.

I shall not say it

It in a dark room

Gently lit,

Whispering as if

We were not alone

In our private little world.

Let me say it

In a brief embrace –

A hug, at least –

Fleeting before

Your latest appointment.

I shall not say it

In the words of

Dead poets, like

Shakespeare and

Wordsworth, who

Did not live to see you

Here today.

Let me say it

In the words of my own

And the choices of my own

And the feelings of my own.

Let me say

It need not be said.

October 09, 2007

Today's joys and a poem from the vaults


I am currently doing sort of alright. Working on some ideas at the moment: writing some epic poetry based on some heroes of the Iliad and working them into the modern day. Also, I am working on a play that I hope to put on at some point during the next year.


While you are waiting, two poems for you.

 The Study of the Effects of Emulsion Marks on a Civilised Automotive Driver:


Lines define the spaces between



Lines define the spaces between



Lines define the spaces between


The Impressive Poem You Read:

You’re not reading this poem,

You’re merely pretending to read it,

Whilst you think about the things on t.v.

Your body, food and other things.

Then you’ll tell your friends

How cultured you are.

Great! You made it to the end of the blog entry. I shall be awarding prizes soon for those who stick with me.


October 08, 2007

Short Story: Dead End

I wrote this a while ago. It was to do with an enrichment course I did in conjunction with NAGTY and the University of East Anglia. I was not a faithful writer back then, with work few and far between, and this was an exercise in writing for objects. Sadly, the item used was my last phone. I played around with this idea, and created this flash prose snapshot. I like the way it turned out. It is not long and not too short (although my mum, who likes reading through all my stuff, had a look and believed I should have taken it further. It seems finished to me).

Let me know what you think, dear reader. The only evidence that this blog is useful so far is the reports of other people on the way to lectures. Comments are welcome, criticisms will be tolerated, but hatemail will lead to some form of blog blocking and fingers in ears (or should that be a blindfold?).

Anyway, here it is.

Dead End:

And she thought, weird as she could be, that nobody could be that stupid. One important thing that any person has learnt today is not to leave your phone anywhere. But there it was, bold as brass yet invisible to the world. A phone with a flip-face screen.

  When she was younger, oh how drab and dull it sounds, people looked after their things – cherished them. Time was, that you would only get a phone if you were really lucky. Now, every weekend you see children flashing their latest trends: nav-sat, web link, picture sharing, video messaging, and maybe – just maybe – this one can make phone calls.

  This was not one of those phones: scuffed and slightly battered from countless bumps, bashes and drops, it was the only traveller on the Thameslink line without a railcard. Its owner was long gone.

  For some reason, this female traveller – her – herself – felt some sort of connection to the phone, just resting on the seat. She would pick it up and hand it in on her next stop.

  It rings in her hand. Caller ID pops up: home.

  It rings.

  It rings.

  It rings. And she hasn’t the heart to answer.

  It rings off. One missed call, the screen says.

  Now guilt comes, welling from the stomach. Her thumbs grope the buttons, and the images flicker: phonebook, caller ID, last number redial. She presses ‘ok’, though she knows it’s not ‘ok’.

  And listens to the voice on the other end.

  ‘Hello? Hello? Is that Steve? Just get back soon. Hello?”

  The phone cuts out dead. No battery. She gets off at Mill Hill Broadway – her stop – and leaves the dead end thing alone.

Yes, it's depressing. I walk the fine line between the emo-core blog and the home made page. I'm doing my best to create some variety in my work. Come back tomorrow for some more bloggage*.

Signing off.

*bloggage: an amalgamation of blog and emotional baggage

October 07, 2007

Poetic Discovery!

Hi, people who read my blog,

As part of the creative writing module, we were given the interesting task of creating a new writing style and defining the history of the style. Unfortunately, I'm limited in my creativity of new styles in my general ignorance of the older forms of poetry and personal preference towards modern poetry which does not focus on rhyming (although rhyming is good, I find it blocks some of my immediacy in on-the-spot writing).

So I started searching for examples of older poetry to aid the creative juices. That was when I stumbled upon pyrametric form, an old form that had gone out of practice but one that I thought was worth investigating.

If found this brief history of the pyrametric form on the internet. Notes and links to this page will be added later.

  The pyrametric form can be traced back to Egypt between 2nd and 1st BCE before its European migration. Initially, it resulted as a form of teaching aid. Similar to the building blocks with numbers and letters which are given to children to learn, those who were apprenticed as scribes would experiment with blocks inscribed with hieroglyphs. To help along the learning process, letters and words were assembled in sets of syllables sequentially increasing in size for each layer of blocks, creating a pyramid of words. As patterns emerged for teaching in this form, artistic expression also emerged in pyrametric. However, few examples remain of the authentic pyrametric.

The original pyrametric form can be described quite simply in this manner: the line number of a stanza determines the number of syllables within the line. Therefore the first line would have one, the second two, the third three, and so on.

Before it spread to Europe, pyrametric form was unrestricted in size: the stanzas would grow to unwieldy sizes, with 24 line stanzas stretching the limits of the form. This is where the sexism, or six line form, appeared. Why the current form is known as pyrametric sexism appears to be an amalgamation of several words, including ‘seis’, the Spanish for six, and sextet among others. Another reason for the name sexism may have arisen from the abuse of the sixth line trope. In practice, poets often used the sixth and longest line to express sentiments and build a doubling of images. However, many parodied this trend through base terms, degenerating into innuendo and double entendre of a sexual nature. Some believe that this lead to the ‘sexism’ moniker that has stuck until the present day.

The historian / critic was cited as being Harold Osmond Axmaker. I haven't found any of his previous work as of yet, but I am still searching.

I have included an example of my own experiment in pyrametric form. Although it is crude, I hope to achieve the greatness of the other pyrametric poets who came before.

Spring Powered Interrogation




Around the core.

The name is ‘daisy

And men give women one.


You are

The one in

Deepest trouble

For the crimes you have

Done before the cock rose.


How did

You feign the

Ignorance of

Spring within the fields

Where men water bushes.


You have

No answer.

I swear you shall

Be accounted for

Affairs of country maids.


Don’t you

Confine your

Mischief to the

Honey bees’ toil. For the

Queen they will work it.



Is passed on

You, criminal.

Before the dawn breaks,

The reaper cuts you short.

I hope you liked that poem. It's just a shame that I still have to find a style to invent for Wednesday. Any tips would be welcome.

Signing out.

October 04, 2007

Poetry: Tombs

When I went to Cyprus on holiday, to 'relax' as put by my family (though we did little of that, thinking about it), we stayed in Pafos and visited a few of the local ruins. This is a poem I wrote when visiting the Tomb of the Kings. I'm not much of a ruin / museum person, but this, combined with several mosaics of Greek mythology seen in said ruins inspired me. It helps that I have done Epic Tradition last year: this is what I really drew on for this poem, as you can probably tell. So without further ado...


In the dust of Pafos

(womb of the navel of the world)

Lies the Tomb of Kings.

But it is the tomb of kings

In only its name.

In these houses for the dead

No Atreides laid himself to rest.

No Agamemnon slept here

Wrapped in regal webbing.

The blood of the kin of Oedipus

Ran not here in Pafos.

Yet these were noble men that lived.

Not kings of men that died

In a golden age of spears and swords

But men who lived, for a time.

No heroes lifting giant boulders

But the several men who could lift it together.

These were the men who were

Stoned in death.

Now here we walk:

Yellow stalks dot the wayside,

Green leaves huddle in clefts,

Darker plants net the rocks

Beneath the feet of tourists.

Between the sand and stone

And walls made before we came,

We descend.

Standing, leaning on pillars

For support, we look on family chambers

Which are empty.

They are not here.

All that is left of noble men,

Their wives and children,

Are the doors,

The steps,

The walls

And dust.

Poetry: Bacon

Written because I felt slightly surreal, and because my older sister said something odd that sparked the first line. Enjoy.



Dear Pig: O Pig,

Why do you cry,

Upon the melon coloured sky?

Do you snore while you’re relaxing?

Do your ankle bones need waxing?

Do you call your hat your home,

When between the trees you roam?

And don’t you think you should have felt

The butter on your pink skin melt?

Do you trip over you feet

For a girl with just a bit of meat?

But now your thoughts depart like ships.

I think I’ll eat you with my chips.

Poetry: Spam Stirfry

I wrote this as part of an exercise in the first Introduction to Creative Writing workshop.

The rules for those who are interested:

  • Long and short as desired
  • 10 syllables a line
  • Each line contains a word from 'caucasian refurbishment'
  • First word of each line must be I, you, he, she, they or we
  • Exception is the last line

Enjoy liberally.

Spam Stirfry

You, demigod, would you take a message

We have written to Milan. It’s convex,

They are sorry about that bong. Wait! Hey

You, it’s going to Alaska stop stop

I stop you leaving, you cipher pervert,

You get back here to the dress rehearsal.

We will take back our letter, convex man,

We will drown you in the cottage bathhouse,

We will. Or blowfish shall think when really

I will arrest you for the queen diabetic.

I mean the dastard beams are kinda good,

We would agree, aplomb, and so perforce

You would mount the altar of the crime scene,

And for that dubious crime, you’d detonate.

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